Every so often an obituary for the restaurant matchbook comes out, with the cause of death listed as the decline of smoking and the survivors being alternatives like miniature notepads or packs of toothpicks. Unfortunately, all those reports are premature, but if matchbooks do go the way of ashtrays it’s because they are being made so shittily. I used to collect them as souvenirs but now tote them home to light the one recalcitrant burner on my 50-something stove. And lately I’m finding they all either break instantly, don’t have enough head or friction on the box to light or are too short or too twiggy to be good for much of anything. So now rather than having something that brings back good memories, I have a reason to curse wherever I picked them up. The obvious comparison is to business cards printed with the wrong address. Both insure you will not be going back. Then again, if only souvenir T-shirts were as degradable as restaurant matches. We would never have to be visually assaulted with Hard Rocks.